A mutant strain more contagious prevailing

Both of the new mutant strains on SARS CoV2 found in UK and S. Africa have N501Y mutation. The preprint paper quoted below tells this mutation causes stronger interaction between S1 spike protein of the virus and hACE2 while it decreases that with anti spike protein antibody.

It may mean this mutant strains could prevail more efficiently than the original strain and even could be more toxic since it would hinder the antibody interaction to S1 spike protein, that is, neutralizing antibody reaction. As this author mentions, it might be related with the effect of the vaccines. 

The other report analyzed the characteristics of antibody produced in infection. There is a kind of IgG antibody which has a negative effect for self defense. The article says it might be the reason why convalescent phase plasma has not given dramatic effect on seriously ill patients. 

There are still problems with this pathogen to overcome the outbreak. The N501Y+strain seems to already prevail in various countries. We should be even more cautious not to get infected until the vaccines prove to be effective for the strain. 


The SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein mutation N501Y alters the protein interactions with both hACE2 and human derived antibody: A Free energy of perturbation study


The N501Y mutation in Covid-19 arise many question but a small amount of data are currently available. An urgent understanding of N501Y mechanism of action at molecular level is highly required. Here, we present the preliminary results of our Free energy perturbation (FEP) and Molecular dynamics (MD) calculations for the interaction of the spike S1 receptor binding domain (RBD) with both the ACE2 receptor and an antibody, STE90-C11, derived from COVID-19 patients. The results shown that the S1 RBD-ACE2 interaction was increased whereas those with the STE90-C11 antibody significantly decreased (over about 160 times). This may explain the observed in UK more spread of the virus but also emerge an important question about the possible human immune response and already available vaccines. Indeed, the latter may still act well but our data indicate some possible reduction of their effect. Further studies of N501Y mutation are need.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.


A never ending story of ham radio

This old photocopy was originally taken at a railway station back in late '60s. The company of neighbor hams in a suburb of Tokyo was going to operate portable at a mountain there. These guys were the members of a local ham club. I have lost old photos when moving from Tokyo to here around 1980. This photo escaped being lost was miraculously found somewhere. I might have posted it before. If you have seen it before, just neglect this post.

My parents moved with their 3 children from here to Tokyo in mid '50s immediately before my entering elementary school when the tuberculosis sanatorium,
where they were working, managed at this place by my aunt was closed. It was a real exodus for them, I believe. They had worked hard to raise us in Tokyo until they decided to come back to this place in '80s.

From lt to rt; JA1NUT, JA1OXQ, JA1RHM, a friend of mine SWL, JA1OTE, JA1NPV, JA1HUY?, JA1RHL.

I was interested in this hobby at age 12. It was fascinating that I could listen to ham radio in communication with a small transistor radio with a small rod antenna. It was 7MHz I heard a lot of hams, only Japanese, talking each other with a lot of "jargons". It won't take too long before I learned about it and got the license. Since the authority enforced the beginner class license, there were a lot of young people starting ham radio. It was like the internet at present.

We were grown up in rather poverty. But my parents let us do whatever we wanted those days. All I could afford was, however, a very small home made set up. A single 6AQ5 transmitter and a 5 tubes receiver. Transmission/reception switch was a "banana switch" set at a corner of desk. The antenna was a dipole for 40m with ladder line feeder; the spacers were waxed chop sticks. While working on A3, I have known several hams, all pretty new, in the area. We founded a local club. This portable operation was an event in a summer vacation day. 

Unfortunately, most of them have gone QRT or even silent key. The only exceptions, I believe craziest guys, are me and JA1RHL. JA1RHL has moved to VK land and has been successful with his business there. He used to be active as VK1ARA. A few weeks ago, he has sent me a short mail from his home in Tokyo telling me he could not go back to VK due to this pandemic. No further mail. Wondering if he could get back to VK.  

When I went to a college studying mechanical engineering, I was a leader in the ham club with the call sign of JA1YGC. There were again a lot of members in the club. At a summer camp held near Mt. Fuji in late '60s, I have trained young members with Morse code. I have not lashed them to learn it but, later, there was a legend that one of them talked about Morse code deliriously while asleep at night. In another summer camp held at Ohshima, an island off the coast in Tokyo, we have met a group of girl scouts of the US led by a ham Bernie WA7CBX on the ship to the island. I could not converse well with him at that time but have remembered running across with him aboard on the ship. Later, in '80s, we have encountered on the air when he was enjoying field day back in the US. He has retired the US Army and has remembered of our eye ball very well. When he heard me on 40m, as he said, he shouted it was him or something. Even 20 years later, Jack WA7HJV has made a contact with him and even visited him living in a town nearby. Maybe, I have written about it elsewhere.  

A lot of fond memories. It must be a sign of senility for me that I remember old days in this way, continuously from one to another, without any context. It was surely good old days and is missed a lot. Through blogging, I have got in touch with a member of the local club, JA1HUL, who used to let me operate radio as a guest operator at his station before my getting the ticket. Strictly speaking, at that time, it was illegal but a really exciting experience for me, a low teenage kid. He has driven me into this hobby and has not been forgotten ever since. 

This is a never ending story of ham radio for me...



W6IJ silent keyed

I was stiffened to see a news in FOC reflector this morning. It said Tommy W6IJ, a good friend of mine as well as an FOC colleague, had gone SK early morning on Dec 18th in PST. He has been a good friend of mine since '60s. I knew he had had health issues. But it was too sudden that he had passed.

In '60s, I have worked him for several times when he was WA6NFC. I could not recall of those QSOs but still remembered his call sign those days.

When I came back on the air in '80s, we met again after more than a decade absence. We have become close friends ever since. One reason was that, as stated above, we have worked in our teenage days. The other reason was that he used to stay in Japan for a couple of years in his childhood while his father worked here. He seemed fond of things and people in Japan. We have made a lot of QSOs on our beloved mode, CW.

He was a couple of years older than me. As told above, he has loved CW very much. I could hardly remember of our QSO on the other mode. His crisp and concise operation have not undergone any change ever since.

He has wanted to visit our country. Early in '80s, he and his former wife, Annie, have visited us and stayed here in this countryside for a week or so. All my family members, including my parents, both alive and active, have become good friends of them. Tommy has brought a Bencher paddle plated with gold for a souvenir to me. It is not used any longer and is stored in the storage at present. I ran CW with that paddle in '80s through '90s.

After staying at our home, they have traveled around the Western Japan. Several hams like Nagi JA5DQH have hosted them at their home or prepared accommodations for them. Around that time, Mike ZL1BVB and his family were visiting us as well. Together with the other Japanese hams, Mike and Tommy's families have had nice lunch in the downtown of Tokyo. When both families went back home, we had nice round tables over the Pacific Ocean on 40m in the evening for a few times. Such an active guy as Mike is no longer heard here.

In a year or two, Hide JH0FBH and I have visited Tommy at his former QTH in Turlock. My wife was going there together with me but has become pregnant, which prevented her from travelling with me. Tommy and his family members all welcomed us. He has brought us to his parents in San Andreas or to Yosemite Park. A hot bath tub was set in the garden. We, three guys, bathed together there. His elder daughter has performed violin for us. 

Having had regular QSOs, we have met at the FOC gathering in Seattle in 2012 after a couple of decades hiatus. He looked well even if he had added some grey hair on his head. In the last morning of that event, we had breakfast together, which became our last face to face meeting. We have met on the air once in 2 or 3 months and have talked how we were getting along.

In the end of this Oct., I was told that he would undergo right hip joint replacement surgery. Since that time, we have met even more frequently than usual. He seemed to have understood well on the procedure and its risk. He was going to have colonoscopy after this procedure since he had a positive result for colon cancer screening test. He has been a man of self confidence and a mentally strong person. But at this crisis of his life, he could feel more helpless than people around him had thought. He never mentioned something like that in our QSOs, though.

He has ordered a big antenna for high bands and was looking forward to putting up to the tower. It was a decision for him to enjoy ham radio even more than before since he could be in such a crisis any time in his life. He was laughing when he said he would enjoy it much more. It might be an expression of his anxiety in his mind.

On Dec. 2nd, he has undergone the replacement surgery in Visalia. In the very last QSO with him, he told me he still had local pain and some exudate from the surgical wound but was getting better day by day. He told me he had been rehabilitating with a cane for walking at home. Without hearing him on the air, I thought I should write a mail to him to ask how he was doing. At that time, I got that shocking news of his SK.

His passing must be a big sorrow and loss for his family, especially his wife Deana, who has been left alone. Whatever the cause of death might be, his family must had things to do, to enjoy and to laugh together with him. Such a chance is eternally lost.

His passing also told me such friend as him could go away all of sudden anytime in my life. I am persuaded again to treasure every moment being with friends as if it was the last meeting in this world. I still wonder if I could tell something more to him before his SK.

He will be missed.

Tommy contesting at his friend's shack WG6P back in '80s.


An old patient and an oyster dish

The other day, I was asked by a friend of mine how to do with her daughter who had had cough for weeks. I used to rescue that girl when she wad drowned in the bath water in her infancy, that is, almost 30 years ago. Even though that girl has left cerebral palsy, she has gone through education and is now working at an office nearby. Ever since, I have been asked about her health problems. 

She has developed that lasting cough and was suspected to have caught COVID19 at the office. I was pretty sure it was an asthmatic cough and her prescription given at a clinic was not proper to treat it. I have taught her how to breathe with diaphragm, which could abate the breathing issue and is important for inhaling with MDI, and to avoid exercises in cold atmosphere etc. I introduced her to a asthma specialist. I could not help laughing the mother was glad to hear about that specialist but seemed not very interested in my lesson! Anyway, whenever I am asked something like this by friends, I am a bit excited and try to answer to the person as much as I can. Such a situation is becoming fewer for now. Maybe, my days, however, have gone now.

A few days ago, in order to tell me how well she is now, the mother has visited us at our home. She has brought us a lot of oysters in shell in addition to some farming products. Oysters in shell are pretty rarely seen here in this inland area even at supermarket. Her friend in Hokkaido has sent a lot of such oysters to them. It was its sharing to us.

I was puzzled at how to take the content from the shell. The shell was closed so tightly that I could hardly open it. I have decided to steam them in sake. Before cooking that way, I had to wash them with scourer. The shells were sharp on their edges. Eagerly done with them, in a few minutes, I realized my finger tips were hurt with the sharp edges of the shells. Surprisingly, my fingers were stained with blood. Fortunately, the wounds were not deep at all and soon were stopped with bleeding. 

The peeled oysters were to add to a hot pot dish as a material. I have given up further cooking it by myself but was waiting for my wife coming home. She was cooking on behalf of me at the kitchen almost forbidden for women to come in. Honestly, she often cooks dishes for me in week ends. But on a plain week day, she was there. Impressed at the scenery, I was looking at her working there.

Sake steamed oysters. They were at least 2.5 times of this amount in total.

The hot pot dish. The oyster was tasted as if milk.

I sure was pleased to hear from my former patient and her mother. But I still learned what they had expected from me as not a pediatrician in active service. I am already a retired one for now.

The 2nd lesson is that I should have worn a thick glove when washing or peeling the shell of oyster. Or I should give up cooking shelled oysters.

It is sometimes good for me to see my wife working in the kitchen as a real house wife. It is an impression as a house husband. This was the last lesson.



Winter solstice and greetings for the season

The garden is still asleep in this cold snap. It has been freezing every morning for the past few days. They have had much snow in the mountain area near by which has disturbed traffic on the high ways.

In such a season, there is something getting ready for the next spring. One of them is flower buds on the magnolia tree. The buds are wrapped with fluffy coat. They will turn to be gorgeous flowers in 3 or 4 months. 

In a close up view.

It will be the winter solstice this year in 3 days. As always said, time is flying so fast. In Christianity, needless to say, it will the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in a week.

I am not attracted by Christmas songs but am rather going to listen to Matthews Passion in this season, even though I left Christianity itself long time ago. But this Passion by great Bach always touches me a lot whenever listening to it. The famous dirigent as well as organist, Karl Richter, has recorded this work for 4 times in his life so far as I know. He has made debut for Matthews Passion in 1958, which are  performed in relatively fast tempo and in light touch, which has been welcomed by most music fans. It has shown the original architecture of this music and was thought to be closer to the original performance in Bach's era. The last one recorded 2 years before his death in 1979 is a kind of romantic expression. So was the recording in 1971. Some critics denounce he has returned to the old romanticism in Passion performance. It might be against the movement of authentic performance of Baroque or of Bach. But this 1979 version still could not help moving us living in this modern era. The 1st piece of overture progresses with the repeatition of ever lasting motif, which stands for the walk in slogging pace of Christ on the Gorgotha Hill. It seems to tell Christ accompanies those who are in anxiety and suffering in their lives. Accompaniment is the most powerful encouragement to them. In this context, Richter's last recording in rather slow and slogging pace touches me a lot.

Richter's Matthews Passion recorded in 1971;

Wishing every visitor to this blog relief from life load and suffering if you have any. Season's Greetings to you. 


Pork miso soup

 In this season, cold and dark, something hot is needed for a dish/soup.

This is pork miso soup, which people enjoy at this time in a year. It will warm up our body from its core. Taro harvested in the garden farm this fall was used as a material.

Pork roll of pumpkin will be also served in addition to this soup. Fresh salad will be ready as well.

Rice boiled with red beans takes the position of bread in the westernized dishes. This is also very good. 


Another walk and a memory of Christmas in '79

It was a warm breezy day today. In the afternoon with no clouds in the sky and sun was shining warmly, I went for a walk over to the rice farm area west of here. It took only 15 minutes to walk down there. Vast rice paddies spread. No one there. There were occasionally cars coming and going. A quiet place.

Northwest of here, we could see the mountains in Nikko. Clouds have covered the range and could not be seen. 

In a harvested paddy, pruned or cut branches of trees were piled high. I remembered it would be for a fire festival named Dondo Yaki which would be held in the mid January next year. They will burn all the ornaments or the religious tags given at shrines for the New Year's days. 

Some dishes and rice cakes will be served as well. I have never attended such a meeting. One reason was because I had been pretty busy around New Year's days for my work. My father or my wife used to join it when we were responsible for that. 

Looking up about this common festival in the season, I knew the same event had been held all over our country with different names. It seems to pray for good health and fortune in the new year. Another old religious tradition.

A road is running north and south between this rice farm area and the residential area east of it. Along that road, my mother's birth place is located. There used to be a spouse lady of my uncle, that is, my mother's elder brother, living there. My mother used to tell us the family was wealthy with a lot of properties. After the WWII, it has fallen to a common family. Now a daughter of a cousin and her family are living there. All of them, except for the cousin's daughter and her family, have already died. 

In the Christmasn of 1979, when we were newly married and started residency, we visited there for a Christmas event. An old aunt has brought Christianity to this country side when she suffered from tuberculosis and was well cared for by an American missionary lady in her student days in Sendai. I might have already told in this blog about her and her sanatorium having been started during WWII. She has advocated Christianity in conjunction with that small sanatorium. The sanatorium was for tuberculosis patients who had no aid from their families etc. Of course, it was a illness with absolutely poor prognosis those days. I bet it was a kind of private hospice welcoming those without any help in the society. I was born at that sanatorium. I have also written about that story elsewhere. 

I can't remember if we were invited to or were willing to. We came to this aunt's home for a Christmas event in the late Dec. Without own car, we came here on train and bus. It took us almost 2 hours. We didn't care for that. I was pleased to introduce my wife to the people there. Taking off a bus from the railway station nearby, 30 or 40 minutes ride, we were walking on this street. It was not paved. It was much colder than today. Hard wind was blowing from the Nikko mountains. Nostalgic enough. My wife did not complain of the long journey at that time. who knows how she reacts to such a proposal of trip in the cold wind. We both were young and ambitious for the future at that time. 

I had least idea to be settled down in this area those days. Sometimes ideas for another choice in life comes up in my mind. It is, however, no use to recollect old things like that. It has been the only choice for me and I should be grateful for that. 


A CW family

 I have met Ellen W1YL on 40m late in the afternoon yesterday. After 1.5 months absence. She sounded like a teen age girl finally operating W7RN via remote control. She told me Luis W4LT had done all the job for her. Luis has mother with almost the same age as Ellen. It was the reason, as Luis told to her, why he had worked setting the remote control for her. His bio. in QRZ.com sure tells he has mother aged 97 years, a bit older than Ellen. He was amazed how proficient on CW Ellen was. He might know operating CW was like breathing freely for Ellen. It must be another reason why he has eagerly worked for her. I don't know if he is reading this blog or not but would like to express my gratitude to his efforts for her. It was really important for her and for her friends all over the world including myself.

We have talked a lot while I was sipping cold lager as usual. Her ankle issue turned out to be cellulitis but not gout. It is even a good news. If cared for well, it won't recur like gout acute attack. Without CW fix, she has spent lonely days with Oreo, her company cat. He must be a bit happy to have been able to occupy her all day. With improvement of cellulitis, she could go for the doctor driving her car. Most emphasis was that she was more than happiest to operate CW like before with the aid of Luis. She asked about us and our kitten. Hearing out kitten is running all around and even climbing the curtain, she looked pleased and told me kittens always behaved in that way.

Listening to her story, I have remembered of Mike WB4ZKA I mentioned in this blog before.


His motto was "Tell me your story". I felt both Ellen and I were realizing that motto in the QSO. We are sure in the same community or even in a family in a sense.

I would go on joining that community from now on. May I hear not only the big signal of Ellen operating W7RN but also Mike operating with K1 4W and a wire antenna. I haven't heard him for several years.

Go on, Ellen. I will keep ears open to you!



Some vegetables are budding/growing Re Long COVID

As told before, silk pods are budding despite of frosty weather. They were covered with cold proof sheets. It is still amazing they are getting born from seeds. As a pediatrician who has sometimes attended risky delivery at the hospital to save the baby, I am still amazed at it. Getting birth, whether it is human, animal or even plant like this, is marvelous. They will slowly grown in the winter and will yield beans early in the next spring.  

Cabbages are also growing producing "balls". Hopefully, there will be no bugs inside the ball. Fresh cabbage is a good material for soup, salad, boiled dish and so on.

Garlic is also slowly growing in this cold weather. It might be ripe in the spring.  

For the last harvest of the lasts, several tomatoes were taken from almost dying tomato plants. Again, amazing they are still bearing fruits like this. They are destined to live in this way in order to leave their descendants.

 While pulling the weeds, a sweet potatoe was digged out. It will be cooked in a bonfire with fallen magnolia/chestnut leaves. Nothing is sweeter than that. It was my mother's favorite. Whenever I made bonfire in the garden, she, in her lastest years of live came close to me and asked if there was any sweet potato in it.


It seems the outbreak of COVID19 is getting worse everywhere in the world. It is getting a bit settled down in the region where strict outing ban was ordered like in France. Our government is still promoting travel with subsidiary. It is told to help the travel related industries. But more than a half of the budget for this promotion of travelling is spent for the contractors of the official work. No wonder there is a rotten connection between those companies and the politicians/administrative officers. 

I could not imagine what this would result in. One factor the government is playing down is that there is a problem of long term sequelle, that is called as Long COVID lately. It includes a variety of complications lasting long of pulmonary, cardiac and neurological pathological conditions. I am concerned about myocarditis which occurs in over a half of the cases, whether it is mild or serious, and could result in myocardiopathy later. Those Long COVID could be a burden to the society for social welfare and medical care in the future.    


Fourteen years have passed

It was the day on 27th this month when I started a blog in Japanese elsewhere. Long before beginning this blog. 

It had been several years since I started own private practice. Luckily, I could refund the debt to a bank little by little on regular basis. I could not help being concerned to me since the amount of the debt was out of common sense in my life. I finally could prospect for the future financially by that time. 

I needed a place where which I could express own view about the issues in medical care system. At that time, there have been a lot of "malpractice" suits going on. The mass media have been agitating against the medical personnel to the public. For example, there were lack of the emergency medicine facilities and the staff those days. And the doctors involved in emergency medicine have become more cautious not to serve for cases in the other specialities than their own in fear of being charged for suit in case their practice turned out not successful. In that situation, the mass media denounced the medical staff, mainly doctors, to be "too lazy" in their profession. Like most other doctors, I could hardly consent to them. That blog in Japanese was a stage where I could discuss such problems in medical care system.

Around that time, quite a number of doctors have started the same media in the internet all over our country. It was the days when the internet was spreading all over the country. They have found it a handy media to express their opinion. I have got acquaintance with a few doctors through the blog activity, who mostly have ceased their blog in a few years. I don't know why they have quit keeping their blogs. Maybe, the other media in the internet like SNS have replaced them in those doctors' activity. Or they have become too busy. Or, more likely, they have given up appealing the problem to the public since the problem could not be easily understood by people.  

I have also written about ham radio, cooking, travelling, gardening or music etc. It was really a canvas which I freely drew paintings for various objects. In the lunch break or after the work in the evening at the office, I often made new pages in the blog.   

In recent years, I have been concerned about the politics/economy. I don't know if it was due to my changing concern or to changes in the politics/economy. In my subjective view, I suspect it is going toward the aberrant direction. Being summarized, toward the globalism based on market fundamentalism which results in exploitation and destruction of the common social capital, the reactionism to the prewar regime which is associated with historical revisionism, the economical disparity and most importantly the apparent deterioration of people's ethos which brings forth the populism politics. I have written about my view on these problems in the Japanese blog as well as, less frequently, in this blog. In order to leave the better world to the next generation, even though it is only a very small effort with least effect in the society, I would go on keeping the blogs.

Whenever thinking of keeping blogs, I recall my father who used to write letters to his friends and family members quite often in his retirement. He also left a lot of diaries he had kept for decades. When he passed away, I read some of them. His concerns were, I was surprised, quite similar to mine. His experience as a soldier in WWII might urge him to write down on his thoughts on the history and politics. In the ecclesia of Christianity, he also enjoyed a lot conversing with friends as well. He was like a young man in the letters to those people, who had also passed away by the time when I read them. His writing and content were really touchy to me. But I believed they won't deserve being left to the family. I have abandoned them a few years ago.  I feel it is comparable to writing letters/diary for my father to keeping these blogs for me.

It will be a time when I should delete all the contents in the blogs. It won't be worth of being preserved at all. I am happy that these blog articles will disappear in the emptiness while I pass away. I am so happy there are some people who read my posts with sympathy or sometimes with repulsion. That's good enough for me.

I only appreciate you visiting my blogs. So, until I say farewell to you, please kindly go on visiting here and leave some message if you want. 

The office in 2008. My room was on the 2nd floor.

My room at the office before the internet age. There was a thick text of pediatrics of Nelson at the right edge of the desk. The cello was beforehand on the right side of this picture. A big book shelf on the right side as well. 


The winter garden

While the garden is getting quieter, there are some fall/winter vegetables ripened in it. Broccolis and cabbages are such examples. Spinaches and silk pods are budding on the ground. It is amazing they are growing and getting ripe in this chillness of early winter.

One of broccolis was harvested and was featured for chicken stew of tomato soup. Not well visible on this photo. It is a valuable kind of vegetable in winter.

Most flowers are dying. But this rose is still blooming. It has enjoyed good amount of sunray. That may help it to survive this early winter.

In a close up view.

Camellia trees are expected to bloom by this time in a year. This camellia was bitten by bugs in the summer, which we have not noticed until the gardener told us that. I have almost given up its flowers. However, at the tips of branches, some flowers are coming out. I was amazed at how vividly they grow despite of bugs' attack.  

In a close up view.

Magnolia trees are budding tiny buds covered with fluffy coat. 

As a whole, the garden is still finally falling deeply asleep until next spring.

Feeling grateful to it for letting me work there from spring to now, I am doing some works like raking fallen leaves. I may spend the free time for listening to music, playing cello and a bit of ham radio operation if there is anyone to converse with. 

Peaceful time in life. 



"Amazon Business"

My wife has ordered a cordless telephone to Amazon without any doubt we get involved in later on. We needed it to replace our old one at home. 

The product has arrived in a few days. She has been busy at work and left it unpacked for several days.

When she replaced the old one to this product, she found it won't work for reception. The old one had been working OK until it was replaced. Upon her request, the telephone line company has checked the integrity of the line, which proved to be intact. It was evident the new one acted up from the beginning. An early failure product!

She has returned it to Amazon as required. In a few days, she found a mail from the service in Amazon.

They said the product was heavily used and had much scratch on the surface. It meant as if she had sent back a used one in stead of the new product. Unless my wife sent the real product back to them in 3 days, they would discard that used scratched one, as it said. It has passed that time limit. Of course, they won't refund the money for the product.

At first, I could not believe what was going on with this case. Would one of GAFA, one of the most famous distribution companies, do such a fraud to customers? Quite unbelievable. If we let it happen in this way, we could never believe in this distributor any longer.

The biggest question is how and why the product sent back to them was damaged in that way. Even if it is real, the problem should be attributed to the transportation or to Amazon itself. It was packed exactly in the same cardboard box in the same manner as it had been sent here. This possibility is minimum. Then, it seems like a crime of fraud by Amazon. They should understand such a behavior to customers may mean suicide by themselves in long perspective.

The 2nd point is that, without our permission, their discarding the damaged product sent back there violates our right of possession. They don't have the right to deal with it by themselves. 

Friends of mine, David, N1EA, and Mike, WB0SND, told me to try to ask the credit card company to chargeback from Amazon. We sure would do that.

We have never experienced this kind of fraud by such a major company as Amazon. I knew, when looking up for the same case in the internet, there seem to have been a lot of the same kind of troubles with Amazon or its tenants in Japan. It is a violation to the right commerce habits. I would do as much as I can to protest and require them to refund the money. I don't miss that money deceived but hate such a crime by a distributor.  

What a loss of time and energy! Is it an aspect of americanization? We don't need that! 



The 42nd anniversary

 It is our 42nd anniversary of marriage today. 

Though it was not the reason why I went for haircut today, I went to the barber that I had been attending to for the past 2 decades. As told elsewhere before, he and his wife are the grandparents of a girl, whom I cared for since her babyhood as the doctor in charge. That girl has beautifully grown up and is working at a real estate company in Tokyo after graduating a university now. 

While haircutting, he told me there had been less customers visiting him apparently due to the pandemic. He would retire soon. He is already 81 years old now. In order to get the fund for retirement, he has tried to sell his barbershop for some time. With the economical recession, there are very few needs, if any, for real estate in his area. His public pension is not good enough to spend retirement. At his age, however, he thinks he should make decision for retirement soon. His daughter, that it, the mother of that girl may help him to live on in his retirement. 

On the way to a super market for materials for dinner, I dropped in a cake shop nearby there. I bought a couple of small cakes for the anniversary. Again, I used to be the doctor in charge for the shop owner and his wife's daughters. There were a lot of people at the shop. Over their shoulders, recognizing me among them, the owner has made a bow to me. I was inclined to ask him or his wife how their daughters were doing. But the crowd at the shop has prevented me from doing that. Their daughters must be already in mid twenties of age. Either of them could already be married. Looking around the shop and personnel working hard there, everything seemed the same as 20 years ago. But people are changing with their lives. 

Forty two years since we got settled down at a resident house of a local med school. In a year or two, this photo was taken in the campus. I might have uploaded it before. Just forgive me if you remember of it. We were just at the departure of our voyage, long as well as short in a sense. Having a lot of dreams for the future, we saw everything so brilliant and hopeful. Least imagined how we are right now. I only feel grateful to my wife for her endurance and support to me, even though I seldom thank her for that. We had something lost which we could never regain in our lives. However, I would go on the last chapter of our lives together with my wife as we have done for the past 42 years.


Ham radio licensees are steadily decreasing in number in Japan

 Elvin JA3CZY let me know there was an article regarding the ham radio license system in Japan published in November issue of ARRL QST. He kindly sent me a copy of the article. 

It is written by a JARL delegate JJ1WTL aka AC6IM who could not mention what is going on in the licensing system here due to his position. After explaining the complicated license system in Japan, it shows the number of licensees in Japan has peaked in 1991 and has drastically dropped afterwards. At present, the main age group of the licensees are in fifties through seventies. There are surprisingly small number of the licensees among young people. In order to allure young people into this hobby, JARL has enforced the YOTA program, that is, the young on the air program. It is not well known to us at all and seems not working to achieve the aim so far. 

I was sorry that it had only least described about the corruption going on in JARL and its related organization/company, JARD and TSS, regarding the new spurious emission regulation in the license system. The authority of the government and the ham radio equipment industries seem to be involved in this scandal as well.  

I have written about it in the post in this blog dated Dec 31 2017. I would revise  and quote it here;

 In Japan, the administrative office and the related organizations like JARD are enforcing a new regulation, which requires us to pay some money to continue using old equipment not officially proven to be spurious below certain level. Old vintage equipment won't be actually used any longer. It is based on the new regulation by ITU, which decided to enforce the regulation in order to get rid of any interference to the other communications. On the other hand, our authority requires us to measure the actual spurious emission of each equipment with any proofread measurement device. It is a big hurdle for us. They have invented a trick. Instead of that difficult measurement of spurious emission, they require us to pay some money to JARD, which is closely related with JARL and the governmental office. Surprisingly enough, that payment is to "guarantee" the equipment satisfying the new regulation. The guarantee is based on PAPER only. It is like a Yakuza's blackmail. A criminal behavior. JARD is accepting the former directors from JARL and some retirees most likely from the authority. It is a matter of despair that former JARL directors are involved in this corruption. I am feeling disgusted at such a system. I am sure, in addition to the existing complicated license system, the same concession for the bureaucrats and the related industries, this will lead the ham radio in our country to the extinction in the near future. As one of the peculiarities in our society, there are very few voices against this concession corruption among ham radio operators.

JARL which should coordinate for the best of interests for all the hams in Japan won't react against this regulation but its executive staff seems to be on the side which exploits our interests. The author of this article in QST could not mention about this corruption from his standpoint as a delegate of JARL.

This scheme of exploitation is widely observed in the other regions of our society than ham radio. I have experienced this kind of corruption in my former profession, medical service, as well. A deteriorated aspect of bureaucracy and the related private sector. I am pretty sure it is an evil aspect of our society which deteriorates our country as if the most communist countries had done with its bureaucracy when they disappeared from the history.

You may notice there are less and less signals heard on HF from Japan. The main reason is the baby boomer generation quitting this hobby. I am sure this corruption regarding new regulation is enhancing that decrease as well. What a shame! 


A gingko tree along a countryside road

In another short drive to the countryside, I have found a beautiful gingko tree along a road in the countryside. It looked gorgeous with bright yellowed leaves. I love this kind of tree in fall. It looks like burning. There were a few gingko trees in the entrance at our home years ago. Worrying that they might grow too high, we decided to cut them. In this season, they were also brilliantly colorful.

This is the gingko tree I have met in a short drive trip in the countryside. The shape of the tree as well as its gorgeously colorful leaves almost being fallen is a perfect molding of nature.

This is one of the gingko trees at the entrance of our home. Eleven years ago. I loved them very much.

They look so beautiful at the moment the leaves are being fallen. Doesn't it tell us how to spend the last chapter of our lives?


A visit to a local temple and a natural park

For a change from continuous trivial things in ordinary life for me, even though it is a token of peacefulness, I have driven to a natural park, only 10 minutes drive from the supermarket I always go for shopping. Went through the paddies already harvested. There was a car or two in the parking lot even though it was Sunday. 

It is a nature preserving place in a small mountain and the surrounding area. Sanctuary for birds and the other animals. The mountain is named Nemoto Yama.

At the foot of the mountain, there was a temple named Nounin Ji. The historical record says it was established by Shogun Takauji Ashikaga, even though the foundation seems like a story devised by the people in this area those days. It is still a fact it has been founded in the 14th century. The buildings were destroyed in war, by fire or landslide from the mountain for a few times. The present main building and the wooden gate have been constructed in 18th century and repaired in the following century.

Looking at the main building through the old wooden gate. A lot of cedar trees in the precincts. 

The main and, seemingly, only building for this temple. The ornament on the top of the roof shined golden, which did not seem, to me, suitable to this shrine.

The frame beneath the roof of the main building reads as Kanto Mei Ran, which stands for a renowned temple in the Kanto plain area. This frame is told to be given by the Emperor in the 14th century. Of course, it might have been reconstructed in the later era.

There was a few houses behind the main building. I hesitated to go into the garden since there could be monks living there. But nothing suggested there were someone living. 

High cedar trees surrounded the precincts. It seemed someone had cared for the forest around it.

I have climbed the Nemoto Yama next to the temple on a promenade as the explanation said. In spite of its low height and the romantic name of the road, the slope was pretty steep. I got short breathed. Or I should have trained cardiopulmonary function a bit more before.

The promenade close to the summit. It deserves its name.

On the summit, there was a pavilion like building where visitors were taking rest. Only a guy was sitting on a long chair there. Very quiet. The sun was almost setting. The place was well cared for. No weeds etc.

Looking south east from the summit. The other mountains were changing colors a little bit.

Almost 20 years ago, I have driven here with my mother in her mid eighties and suffered from Alzheimer. I had parked near the peak at the place a white car was parking on this photo. Walking together with her at slow pace, I found her tottering and sitting on the lawn at the side of road shown on the center of this photo. I knew she had been weakened so much that she could hardly climb up to the peak even though it was of short distance.

In a few years, as I have repeatedly told, she was taken to Sendai by my brother who wanted to care for her. At the big earthquake hitting Tohoku in 2011, she lost her good health somehow maintained until then through loss of the infrastructures for a few days at a nursing facility and eventually died there as if a small candle went out.

It sure looks like yesterday. Our lives are short as if we breathe popping out our head out of the flow of time and in a few moments, we get back to the unknown world beneath the time flow. My mother might ask me if I am ready for that moment I leave this world.

I took a car road down to the parking lot with less steep slope. Maple trees along the road looked colorful. 

 At the parking lot, a cat was sunbathing while sun was almost setting. A friendly cat. He/she let me pet on its head.

With a lot of Nabe dish materials on the car, I headed back to the ordinary routine.


New mRNA vaccine against SARS CoV2 shows success as its phase III trial interim report says

Phase III trial of the mRNA vaccine being developed by Pfizer and the related venture company turned out that it was effective by 90% without serious side effects. The final report on this vaccine is eagerly waited for soon. 

A previous report from the same lab told the vaccine could induce CD8+ T lymphocyte response. It may promise immunological memory developed with this vaccine.

This virus causes autoimmune reaction or long term complications. Further check up as for any side effects due to this vaccine should be closely observed.

Anyway, it seems they are crossing the important milestone for the victory to this virus.


Green pepper dishes and early rehearsal of elderly care

It sometimes gets frosty in the morning here. All the summer vegetables are finished now. 

I have pulled 3 of green pepper plants a few days ago. They have yielded a lot of fruits in the summer as well as the fall until now. I don't know if it is thanks to abundant harvest this year or if it is as usual. I knew very few recipes for this veggie. With dozens of the fruits harvested for the last batch, I have made a couple of dishes.

One is a simple dish cooked with noodle sauce. It is topped with small amount of bonito.

The other is cooked with pork and egg plant. This egg plant is also the last harvest in the garden farm. 

It is seasoned with doubanjiang and miso in addition to ordinary sake, soy sauce and sugar. A bit too hot. I scarcely use this Chinese seasoning and have made a mistake on its amount.

This evening, my wife has sprained her right wrist falling down on the ground. It could be a fracture of radius bone. I have cared for her as well as have done the chores usually on her charge. It is an early rehearsal of elderly vs elderly care for us.

It will be our 42nd anniversary on Nov 20th.


A hope for intact memory of immunity in COVID 19 infection

It has been reported that Sars CoV 2 specific IgG/neutralizing antibody decreases in titer in 3 months or less after infection in most cases.


This finding makes us suspect of the possible re-infection and of the incompetence of vaccines for long term effectiveness.

The following article in preprint server for COVID 19 related papers shows, however, the humoral as well as the cellular immunity could be maintained in most cases in 6 to 8 months after infection. It is only a preliminary report and won't explain what makes difference in findings from the previous articles. It is of much concern how they have measured the memory function of immunity. It is still giving us a hope for long lasting immunity achieved from the infection as well as from the vaccines now being developed. In most viral infections other than Sars CoV 2 infection, cellular immunity works more than humoral immunity does. If the memory function of cellular immunity works intactly as with the other viruses, as this article says, it is an evangel in the clinical and preventive medicine.  



Yard farm in sleep until next spring

This year, 10 plants of taro have been grown in the yard farm. Several years ago, I have failed growing this kind of veggie maybe due to lack of good watering in the mid summer. This time, well irrigated, they have grown pretty well. Each fruit was not so big but prosperously grown. The last 5 plants have been harvested today. 

I have simmered taro and chicken seasoned with sweetened soy sauce. Peeling each fruit was a bit tiring. Fried well before being boiled, they have been cooked soft and tasty. 

For the harvest next spring, there are dozens of onions and 10 garlics in the farm. Cabbages and broccoli are still growing and might be harvested before frost comes in here. 

We have enjoyed a lot of eggplants, green peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, potatoes and sweet potatoes this summer. I feel they are blessings to us from the Nature. Sorry but we should give up collecting the fallen chestnut fruits this fall. Too much work load to get them peeled and cooked. Appreciating those products, I will have yard farms go into rest. Until next spring. The yard farm will be in quiet sleep for a while.

Everything is going on around a year, seemingly, in the same manner. Carefully watching how they go on, I could find subtle but steady change every year. In the activities of the Nature, I am still a part of that. The Nature won't go on in the same way, exactly speaking. So will I. Working in the Nature, just part time in my case, tells me I belong to it and won't stay in the same manner. 


A nice day at a park in Tokyo

It was a comfortable day yesterday. I have spent a few hours at a park named Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. To join a small ensemble practice outdoor.

The mild sunray has shown through the leaves of the trees, turning colorful, over there. I was concerned about how string instrument sounded like outdoor without any reverberation. It sounded great as if the trees surrounding us had resonated with it. As if the instruments came back homeland of forest. 

It is becoming more laborious to drive down to Tokyo. I may not have many more chances to go there for such a get together. Every chance for such activity is treasured for sure. 

It was a place where I had a fieldwork in med school days. I can't remember what work we were involved in but still have a photo taken with a couple of class mates there. We, three young guys, are smiling innocently on the photo. They must have retired by now. I wonder how they are getting along. I have not joined the class reunion which has been held in a few years' interval. I should attend it and see how they are doing.

Again, deadly tired but still satisfied, I drove back home. A blessed day.